Joseph Mallord William Turner

Leeds from Beeston Hill


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 179 × 254 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXIV 38

Catalogue entry

As recognised by Finberg,1 this is part of a panoramic sketch of Leeds looking north from Beeston Hill, this closely observed drawing occupies only the central third of the page, both vertically and horizontally, and is an continuation to the left of the main part of the drawing on folio 48 verso (D09883; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 79), which also continues to the right on folio 49 recto (D09884; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 80). The overall prospect, its viewpoint and the 1816 watercolour based on it, Leeds (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven),2 are discussed in detail under D09883. In the event, the portion of the townscape recorded on the present page was not included in the watercolour, which stops short of it in line with the edge of the main two-page study.
David Hill has identified and discussed the distant buildings. On the far left, the long, low building with a shallow pediment is Benjamin Gott’s Park Mill, originally Bean Ings Mill;3 just above and to the right, under the first ‘x’, is the compact, pedimented form of Denison Hall, which survives in Hanover Square.4 At the right-hand edge is part of John Marshall’s multi-storey flax manufactory, which is continued to the right in the main drawing.5
Finberg 1909, I, p.382; see also Butlin, Wilton and Gage 1974, p.82, White 1977, p.77, Hawes 1982, p.200, Hawcroft 1983, p.[72], Danies 1986, p.10, and Chumbley and Warrell 1989, p.46.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.362 no.544, reproduced.
See Hill 2008, p.115.
Ibid., p.116.
Ibid., p.117.
Technical notes:
As bound now, this extension can be brought into line with the main view by pushing back folio 48 verso (D09883) to the right, but the match is not exact and the juxtaposition of the pages does not seem to be as it originally was. No gilt is apparent on the outer edge of the page, suggesting it has not been rebound in its original orientation, as also implied by Finberg’s suffix ‘a’ to his page number (usually indicating the verso) relating to the recto as presently bound (D09833; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 38a), and by the stamped inventory number being inverted in relation to stamps on the rectos elsewhere in the sketchbook.

Matthew Imms
July 2014

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